For several months, administration from the 14 university Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the faculty union, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Facilities, have been negotiating terms for a new contract to no avail. The contract that university professors are working under expired 460 and some odd days ago, and this, coupled with the breakdown in contract talks, has pushed the union into setting a strike date on October 19.
Both sides have utilized social media to get their messages across to students, faculty and other stakeholders in the State System of Higher Education. APSCUF was the first to hold a press conference using Facebook Live at the union’s general assembly last month. Yesterday, the State System’s Chancellor Frank Brogan took to Facebook Live to address students on the state system’s side of the story, and later on today, APSCUF will hold a press conference for student journalists.
During Chancellor Brogan’s address to PASSHE students, Brogan told students, and encouraged faculty, that they must, or should, cross a picket line and attend classes if a strike occurs. Brogan told students “every student is responsible for attending every one of their classes, regardless of what any professor opts to do,” and “your obligation as students is to continue to go to class until you are told not to.” This left students and some parents wondering if Chanellor Brogan’s is willing to use scabs to take attendance, teach classes and disseminate information from the State System of Higher Education to students.